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Q&A: Amy Albano, Burbank's first female city attorney

'It¿s more important where women are, what positions they hold,' she says.

October 21, 2011|By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com

Amy Albano was sworn in this week as Burbank’s first female city attorney, replacing Dennis Barlow, who retired after 14 years.

Albano joined Thousand Oaks in 2005 as city attorney after spending 14 years in the City Attorney’s Office at Ventura.  She is also the immediate past president of the League of California Cities City Attorney’s Department.

“I love working for cities because it’s a group with a common interest, a common good, working together,” she said. “We’re able to affect people’s lives. If a city runs well, you have a good quality of life.”

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Albano spoke with the Leader before she assumed her duties this week.

The Leader: Mary Riley and Carolyn Barnes were the first female attorneys hired in the City Attorney’s Office — they were hired in 1985 as deputy city attorneys and both still work for the city as senior assistant city attorneys. You are the first female city attorney in the history of the city. How does it feel?

Albano: Of course I like to be a role model, and that’s important, but I also want to be known for the fact that I’m a very good attorney and well respected in my profession.

Q. There are 499 women and 995 men working for the city of Burbank. What are your thoughts on this?

A. I think what’s more important is where women are, what positions they hold. I think it’s wonderful that the department head for Financial Services is a woman. The director of Public Works is a woman, which is traditionally a male’s role. It speaks volumes of the success women have had. I look at our city attorney’s office, and women are more than the majority. It’s great. It’s a sign of the times. More and more women are able to move up in an organization. It doesn’t matter that you’re a woman anymore.

Q. What attracted you to the legal field?

A. I’ve been interested in law ever since I was a little girl. I grew up in an Italian family with big parties and I was told quite often I was going to be a lawyer. I always liked to talk and I grew up with Perry Mason. As I got older, it just stuck.

Q. What are some of the things you think will be important to address in Burbank?

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